Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Even more about THE BIKE

When I posted Sunday about the Bike, I didn't realize how much "the Bike" would be the focus of my off season.  Then came Monday and my visit to Dr. Dec.

Since April, I've been struggling with hip pain and before that plantar fasciatis. Dr. Herring and Dr. Green got me through training and to be honest, both felt pretty good come time for Ironman.  I fully expected the tweaks of pain to go away completely in my rest weeks.  But they haven't.  And, in fact, my left side has become more plagued than it was before.

So I made my appointment and kept my fingers crossed that she would have my magic cure.  Maybe not a magic cure, but she does have a plan.  Unfortunately, I don't like it.  It seems my right weak side and my rather immobile left foot have lead to huge kinetic issues on my left side  -- my left hip, my left foot and a bunch of places in between.  So until I fix those issues with PT, I'm on "no run" orders.  I can cycle all I want, swim, strength train, run in the pool, do the elliptal but no running. 

It stinks, makes me anxious and I don't like it at all, but at the same time, I want to start January feeling like a million bucks.  Strong, injury free and ready to put in a hard season without getting sidelined.  So, I'm trying to keep an open mind.  I'll listen and put my efforts into getting better and riding faster.  I've got a fun new mountain bike to ride and a new road frame on the way so its a great time to be all about the bike.  Anyone up for a ride?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Detox Diet and "The Bike"

This week has been busy.  Winter workouts started at EF and its been so much fun to train with friends again.  Somehow planks and time on the trainer seem to go a little faster when there are friends to groan with you and hear your sore muscle complaints the next day. 

My focus this week has been on two things -- detoxing my diet and the bike.  As for the detox, I have now been 8 days without alcohol and 7 days without candy and 7 days back on my "diet."   I think the first few days were the worst although Friday brought some serious candy cravings and Saturday night out at friends without any vino was challenging.  But, I am seeing some success and that is keeping me going.  So far, my weight is getting close to IM weight again and my stomach is feeling great.  Not sure if it is the detox itself or the addition of my shakes made with UltraInflmx back in my daily routine.

The weather this weekend has been perfect.  Sunny skies, great temperatures.  Perfect for being outdoors.  Saturday morning SanDee, Kate, DB and I went for a long ride out onto the rural roads of Goochland and Rockville.  Nothing too crazy and a great fall ride.

After our ride, I headed to 3 Sports to pick up ... "The Bike."  Much to my chagrin, when we went into pick it up and handed Ben my normal, regular old pedals, he exclaimed, "No way.  I'm not putting those on this bike.  Where are your clipless pedals?"  "At home,"  I meekly replied.  "Well you need to put them on your bike.  I'm taking this pair."   So. . . after jokes about life insurance, I walked out of the shop with my beautiful new Titus and even more scared about my MTB escapades that were scheduled for Sunday.   Bart "kindly" put my new pedals on my bike when we got home and my cleats on my new yet to be worn MTB shoes and I headed off ot the pool for a swim and tried to put them out of my mind.

This morning, we put my bike on the trainer and I practiced clipping in and out of my new pedals.  They feel tighter than my road pedals and I'm definitely not as skilled at getting in or out of them.  After about 10 minutes of in and out, I figured I probably will go down at somepoint.  So, it might as well be my first day.  Bart and I met Shelley and Karen at Pocohontas for the ride.  After a tour of the parking lots so I could practice my pedals and we go use the bathrooms one last time, we headed out for the easy singletrack.  Shelly hung back during the beginning and game me my first lesson in handling -- stand with your pedals even when you aren't pedalling.  Easier said than done for a non-stander like me but it definitely made sense.  Karen rode lead so that I could see someone's lines and Shelly followed with advice.  Standing definitely felt wierd - particularly going down hill which I already dislike anyway -- but I did okay and my first topple over was a pretty soft fall.  Then we came to the creek.  At the creek, the trail winds down a fairly big right turn, over a narrow bridge and then up a fairly sharp climb.   The last time Bart and I rode and we came to the creek, I got off, walked my bike across the bride and up the hill and remounted.  This time I intended to do the same thing.  But my teachers had other things in mind.  My refusals fell onto deaf ears and soon I was on my bike with Shelly in front holding me back and she and Karen guiding me slowly down towards the creek.  At the bottom I pedaled hard up the other side, and ... ooops, over Karen's wheel before I went down.   Once on the other side, they made me do it again.  They tried for a third, but I drew the line and just kept riding, after I denounced them as friends.

After my hands stopped shaking and my breathing leveled, the rest of the ride was less dramatic.  I felt a little steadier as the ride continued but still not at ease.  After one loop, and no injuries, we headed back to the cars.  I love my new moutain bike and despite the fear am having fun pushing myself so far outside of my comfort zone.  Next week, we have a plan to meet again.  They tell me we'll ride longer and on a little harder trails which is intimidating but at the same time, I can't wait.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Feeling a little inspired by the giving spirit of pro Bree Wee and since this is the month of Thanksgiving, the theme for this month for me is giving.

First, the real giving. I've declared war on my closets and drawers. Its time to clean house and give to those who need it more than I the loads of extras in my closets and drawers that I really don't need or wear. Last weekend, I tackled half of my closet and one trunk of sweaters. This weekend, I made it through 5 drawers and the weekend isn't over yet. Already I have stacks of clothes set out to give. Not only does it feel good to clean house, I'm hoping it helps some others.

Second, a different kind of giving. Yep, giving two of my favorite things up . . . one for at least the next two weeks, and the other, for the month. Weight loss for me is one of the hardest parts of my training regimen. Even when I am 100% disciplined, it just doesn't come easy. One of my goals for the off season has been to lose 14 lbs. For the last month, I've "tried" unsuccessfully. There have been a lot of social events over the past month -- Bart's bday, my reunion -- so my discipline has wavered, and, in particular over the weekend. After last week at Tina's, it was clear. If I really want to do this, I need to give up two things - wine and processed sugars in things like candy. Today is day 2 on the wine and day 1 on the candy. Last night, on Halloween I stocked up with at least 4 mini candy bars. Oops! So, training partners. Keep me honest.

Post rain run photo . . .

Winter training classes at EF officially started today. After a run in the rain, Bart and I went to UR for a Sunday swim with team EF. EF has added a new swim coach, Rob, who has coached newbies, Division 1 and some serious swimmers. Am hoping that he, along with Coach K, can get my swim to the next level over the winter. Swim was fun . . . some new drills, and I even survived being in the same lane as Barracuda Bart without being lapped. Good thing we did short intervals today :)

Tired out.